Haki Africa appeals to President Suluhu to release activists, journalists detained in Tanzania
Civil society actors drawn from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have implored Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan to release more than 100 human rights activists, journalists and political prisoners incarcerated by the previous regime for criticising the 2020 general election.
The Haki Africa human rights group that made the statement on behalf of their colleagues in the region acknowledged the move by President Suluhu to pardon 5,000 prisoners last week, stating that notable human rights defenders are still languishing in correctional facilities.
“We acknowledge your stature as a progressive leader to the People of Tanzania, East Africa and Africa at large. As civil society organizations, we have confidence and faith in your leadership and the good example you continue to set. Your Excellency, we African civil society actors from all walks of life, view the citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania as our brothers and sisters,” read the statement released on Tuesday.
“We affirm that any concern arising from your country is our collective concern. From the interactions, reports and media highlights, we have come to learn and appreciate your recent move to release over 5,000 prisoners from prison, some of who were detained during the recently concluded electoral process in Tanzania. Indeed, you have shown the way for other African leaders to follow.”
According to Haki Africa, there are at least 100 known human rights defenders, journalists and political activists still being detained over the last election.
“…from our partners in Tanzania, we have come to learn that, there may still be others including human rights defenders, journalists and political activists, who may still be incarcerated in prisons across Tanzania. It is our belief that they too were arrested in relation to Tanzania’s 2020 general elections. Attached is a list of about 100 who we fear may still be held in prisons,” they stated.
“Through this statement, we appeal to you, first as a mother, secondly as a civil society colleague and thirdly as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to consider releasing and or pardoning them. This request is keeping in-line with your government’s commitment to fulfill its obligations under international laws and statutes guarding human rights, rule of law and democracy.”
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